‘Clarke loss not a disaster’


Australia coach Darren Lehmann is confident that his side can win the World Cup next year, even if captain Michael Clarke is unavailable for selection because of injury.

Clarke’s future as leader of the Australian team is in doubt after his latest injury set-back which ruled out of the rest of the One Day International (ODI) series against South Africa.

Clarke injured his hamstring for the third time since August this year while batting against the Proteas in the first ODI of the series.

As a result, he is also in doubt for the first Test against India, which starts in Brisbane on December 4.

The veteran of 107 Test matches will continue to be assessed by specialists in Melbourne and Sydney days, but with the World Cup just three months away, another injury will put his participation in serious doubt.

"It's never easy when you're losing one of your best players, but that's part and parcel of sport these days," Lehmann said on Saturday ahead of the second ODI against South Africa in Perth.

"Players have got to be adaptable.

"We'd love him there.

"But you can (still) win every game you play (without him).

"With the 11 that go on the field, we have full faith in winning each and every game.

"It's a concern for Michael.

"He's frustrated, as you would be. But he's in good spirits trying to get it right."

In Clarke’s absence, George Bailey will lead the side, while Steve Smith is expected to come in for ‘Pup’ at the WACA.

Test and Cricketer of the Year Mitchell Johnson is confident that Bailey will be an able deputy, even if he has to lead the side at the World Cup too.

"George has done really well as a one-day captain, so he's as prepared as he can be if that happens," Johnson said.

"He quite enjoys it and we back him 100 per cent."